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Nets owner Joe Tsai says front office, coaching staff “have my support”

Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson break down the framework of a potential trade with the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant.

Kevin Durant reportedly gave Nets’ owner Joe Tsai an ultimatum: Me or coach Steve Nash and GM Sean Marks.

Tsai’s response:

Durant requested a trade from the Nets a month ago, confirmed it over the weekend, and apparently will get his wish. Eventually.

Durant is reportedly unhappy with the direction of the Nets. However, Marks and Tsai made sure Durant had a voice and stake in the moves that were made, from signing DeAndre Jordan to a $40 million contract (and playing him over Jarrett Allen, then eventually trading Allen), to letting go of coach Kenny Atkinson and eventually replacing him with Nash, to trading a lot of picks and promising young players to land James Harden. Durant and his backers can try to claim plausible deniability, but Durant was in on the decision making with this team along with everyone else.

Tsai and Marks have moved in the direction of taking more control of the franchise culture all offseason, and this is the latest step in that direction. A lot of that also had to do with Kyrie Irving’s frustrations about wanting a longer contract (something that plays into Durant’s frustrations), and the Nets’ frustrations with Irving’s contributions.

This means Durant will get traded, but the Nets will not suddenly conduct a fire sale. Talks are stalled out because the Nets are asking the world — an All-Star level player under 25, other quality players and multiple first-round picks — that other teams think is too high, plus third teams are not getting involved. Eventually a trade could happen — maybe to Miami, maybe to Boston, maybe Toronto or somewhere else — but with training camps not even opening until Sept. 27th, there is no rush to get a deal done now. The Nets will be patient, but today’s news hurt their leverage. The offers are not suddenly going to get better.

Which is to say, this still could drag out a while.